President of Liberia
|President of the
Republic of Liberia
|Term length||Six years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||Joseph Jenkins Roberts
January 3, 1848
|Formation||Constitution of Liberia
July 26, 1847
|Deputy||Vice President of Liberia|
The President of the Republic of Liberia is the head of state and government of Liberia. The president serves as the leader of the executive branch and as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
The current President is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf since January 16, 2006.
History[change | change source]
Between 1847 and 1980, the presidency was exclusively held by Americo-Liberians, the original American settlers of Liberia and their descendants. The original two-party system, with the Republican Party and the True Whig Party, ended in 1878, when the election of Anthony W. Gardiner marked the beginning of 102 years of single-party rule by the True Whigs.
Under the 1986 Constitution, the president is directly elected by eligible voters to a six-year term, which may be renewed once. Overall, 22 individuals have served as president. On January 16, 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was sworn in as the twenty-fourth and current president, making her the first elected female president in Africa.
Terms[change | change source]
Under the original 1847 Constitution, the president was elected to a two-year term, which was increased to four years on May 7, 1907. Under this amendment, a new president would serve for eight years and could be re-elected to unlimited four-year terms.
Currently, the president is elected by popular vote to a six-year term and is limited to two terms.
Eligibility[change | change source]
To be eligible for office under the current Constitution, a presidential candidate must:
- be a natural born citizen of Liberia (per Art, 27(b) of the Constitution, citizenship is limited to "persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent");
- be at least thirty-five years old;
- own real property valued at least $25,000;
- have resided in Liberia for at least ten years.
List of Presidents of Liberia[change | change source]
- Left office early:
- [A] Assassinated in a coup d'etat.
- [D] Died in office of natural causes.
- [R] Resigned.
Interim and Non-Presidential Heads of State[change | change source]
|President||Position||Took office||Left office||Party|
|Samuel K. Doe||Head of People's Redemption Council||April 12, 1980||January 6, 1986||National Democratic Party of Liberia|
|Dr. Amos Sawyer||President of the Interim Government of National Unity||November 22, 1990||March 7, 1994||Liberian People's Party|
|David D. Kpormakpor||Chairman of the Council of State||March 7, 1994||September 1, 1995||None|
|Wilton G. S. Sankawulo||Chairman of the Council of State||September 1, 1995||September 3, 1996||None|
|Ruth Perry||Chairwoman of the Council of State||September 3, 1996||August 2, 1997||None|
|Gyude Bryant||Chairman of the National Transitional Government||October 14, 2003||January 16, 2006||Liberian Action Party|
References[change | change source]
- Starr, Frederick (1913). Liberia: Description, History, Problems. Chicago. p. 256.
- There has been some confusion as to whether Smith actually served as President of Liberia following the removal of Edward James Roye from office. However, evidence does show that Smith did in fact serve as president from the time of Roye's departure until the inauguration of Joseph Jenkins Roberts.
- Despite the fact that Doe assumed power immediately after the execution of William R. Tolbert, Jr. on April 12, 1980, he was not in fact sworn in as president until January 6, 1986.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Enno Schulz, "Presidents of Liberia.